Just Outside




Cicada2This cicada stopped by for a little rest near the back door and it didn’t seem to mind posing for pictures. I have sort of posted photographs of a cicada before. If you follow this link you’ll see what I mean.

On an unrelated note I’m very honoured to have work featured on the arts and humanities website Creative Thresholds. You can see that article here but if you have a few minutes I suggest having a look around the Creative Thresholds website!

© Karen McRae, 2014

In with the cold





DecemberWindowFrost6This is what happens when an ice breathing dragon is trapped between 2 pieces of glass; your windows frost up and the temperature plummets.

The-Dragon'sBreathTechnically, this window has failed; there should not be moisture, frost, or dragons(!) trapped between the sealed panes, but I like to think of it as a literal ‘silver’ lining. Technical failure can lead to interesting things…

Happy New Year!

[These window frost photographs were made today – I have posted similar frost a few times last winter but it is always reinventing itself]

© Karen McRae, 2013

Dances in Light






These little insects caught my eye while they were out playing in the shafts of afternoon light. There can’t be too many more days that will be warm enough for them to venture out but today was beautiful.

It’s not easy to focus on their flitting movements – which appear much like trampolining without touching the ground – but I like the tiny sunlit shapes, and their delicate presence signals a small reprieve from the cold.

© Karen McRae, 2013

Another Monochromatic Gelatinous Post

( So, I’m having trouble coming up with titles … )

This is the third entry (perhaps the last, for now) in a series of sea jelly photographs I’m exploring in black and white. I started looking at their forms for some drawings and found them interesting presented in monochrome.

All of the sea jellies pictured here are Ctenophores (comb jellies). Ctenophores are classified differently from ‘true’ jellies because of their combs – rows of hair-like cilia that are used for swimming and also catching/consuming food (The actual cilia are not really observable in these photographs).

The images above are studies of just one comb jelly – perhaps Mnemiopsis leidyias or Bolinopsis infundibulum (they are difficult to tell apart). When this jelly was not moving it became rather formless-looking and alien-like, especially under these particular lighting circumstances. With different lighting (and in colour!) you may be able to see that this jelly is bio-luminescent.


The second gallery of images  (with the exception of the last two) are a series of Pleurobrachia (Sea Gooseberries). You can see how they may have picked up the nickname of sea gooseberries.

The two tiny comb jellies at the end are Beroe Ctenophores. The beroe ctenophores have no tentacles and capture food through opening and closing their mouths.


[These photographs of Atlantic sea jellies were made in Cape Breton in the spring of 2012]

Moon-Jellies_UnderdrawingTo add a bit of colour – quick sketches of moon jellies on board (an ‘under-drawing’ before a layer of Mylar is applied).

© Karen McRae, 2013